A WOMAN has criticised how horses were dealt with at an annual travellers’ fair after she spent £200 to rescue one that was tied to a lamppost.
The woman, from Fareham, said that the animal was in such a bad state, looking thin and weak, that she felt compelled to save it.
The woman, who does not want to be named for fear of reprisals from the horse’s previous owner, has issued a warning to others about Wickham Horse Fair and appealed for the RSPCA to protect animals’ welfare.
She said: ‘I wanted someone to take it away. I bought it and I led it home, I didn’t even know if it was going to make it.
‘I couldn’t leave it there tied to a lamppost in such a sorry state. It has got no passport, no papers, it is not the age it was meant to be and it is underweight. It should not have been passed by the RSPCA and the vet, it is not on. It is disgusting.’
The horse is recovering at secret location in Fareham.
The woman, who owns other horses, said she had been going to the fair for eight years and this year was the worst she had ever seen for the poor condition of horses.
The annual fair attracts thousands of travellers from all over the country, as well as many horse traders. It took place on Wednesday, May 20.
A team from the RSPCA was at the fair and a vet from Redwings Horse Sanctuary was offering minor treatment.
The woman said she even flagged up the horse to equine officers but they did not act.
But Andy Robbins, from the RSPCA, said the society could not act as it does not have the power to seize horses.
He said: ‘Our officers were made aware of this horse and we arranged for it to be examined by the Redwings vet who confirmed there were no grounds of suffering on which the police could remove the animal.
‘The RSPCA monitored the horse throughout the day and it remained calm and relaxed and showed no signs of dehydration or suffering.
‘The RSPCA does not have power to seize horses people have concerns about. This can only be done by the police with veterinary evidence.’